USF Defeats DePaul, 3-0
CHICAGO - The University of South Florida defeated DePaul, 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-26), Friday in BIG EAST Conference volleyball action at McGrath Arena. The Blue Demons fall to 6-22 and 0-13 in league play, while the Bulls improve to 17-7 and 9-4 in conference action.
USF used a balanced attack in its straight-set victory as the offense registered a .433 clip with Jarka Havlickova and Allie Boaz both tallying double-digit kills. Havlikova's 10 kills came on a match-high .562 attack percentage while Boaz chipped in 10 kills with a .529 success rate.
The Blue Demons came out in the opening stanza swinging well, building a 12-9 lead behind put aways from Kate Letcher, Rachel Aumann, and Sarah Cullen. Following precision service from Janice Rivera, the Bulls knotted the score up once more, and continued to trade the lead in the subsequent points. DePaul would stall at 18 as USF went on a 7-1 run to close out the first set, 25-19. Cullen and Boaz led the floor with four kills apiece.
The Bulls hit a match-high .500 in the second set to control the offensive tempo, and hit 18 kills on their way to a 25-14 victory. After falling behind 3-7 the Blue Demons were force to use a time out to sway the momentum, but continued to struggle to find their rhythm. Letcher lit a DePaul run, nailing down three kills in four-straight points, but Boaz continued to swing strong, and pushed USF forward with back-to-back kills of her own. Caitlyn Breen clinched the win with a kill, but Boaz starred in the effort, tallying five put downs on a staggering .714 clip.
Following the break, USF continued its offensive dominance, drilling down 14 kills with just a single attack error in the third frame. Despite the setback, Blasi hit .400 (5-1-10) in the effort to pace the Blue Demons, while Carney registered a .222 (4-2-9) clip. Pamela Luiz would fuel the initial Bull run, serving up five-straight points to build a six point USF lead. Luiz was back in the service rotation when DePaul was force to take its final timeout, down 16-8. Kills by Cullen, Carney and Blasi would cut the lead to four, but another run by USF would seal the win, as the Blue Demons bowed out 25-16.
Sarah Cullen paced DePaul with nine kills, while Christy Landschoot managed the offense with a floor-best 28 assists. Lauren Blasi led the defense with nine digs. Letcher and Aumann registered the only two blocks for the Blue Demons, each posting a solo block. The Bulls denied the attack on 10 occasions.
The Blue Demons return to McGrath on Sunday for their final match of the season against Georgetown. Senior Sarah Cullen will be recognized prior to the first serve, scheduled for 2 p.m. (CST)
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